Saturday Jun 10, 2023
Saturday Jun 10, 2023

Temporary Protected Status for Pakistani immigrants

2022 Oct 19, 15:29, Washington
Representative Image (Photo: ANI)

US senators have sought Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Pakistani nationals currently residing in the US due to this year's unprecedented floods.

Two Democratic senators, Diane Feinstein of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, wrote a letter last month to US President Joe Biden urging him to grant the TPS status, Dawn reported.

In the letter, the US senators said, "Given the severity of this crisis, the United States must ensure that Pakistani nationals present in the United States are not forced to return to conditions that could imperil their lives."

The letter was backed by other lawmakers like Senators Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Chris Van Hollen, Bob Casey, and Tina Smith, according to Dawn.

Talking about the floods in the letter, the senators argued that this year's unprecedented flood situation has left one-third of Pakistan underwater and affected approximately 33 million people.

They also pointed out that the ongoing crisis has left many regions uninhabitable and unsafe and also caused estimated damage of USD 10 billion.

In the letter, they also talked about the spread of waterborne illnesses, including diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections, skin and eye infections, and typhoid.

"Granting TPS to Pakistani nationals in need is a small but consequential step that the United States can take to immediately reduce the human suffering caused by this natural disaster and would reaffirm our stance as a global leader committed to humanitarian relief efforts and protections," the senators wrote as quoted by US Senator of Maryland Van Hollen's site.

"Should Pakistan officially request TPS designation given the current conditions the country is facing, we urge the Biden administration to prioritize such a request while continuing to monitor ongoing developments and deliberate on the best way to aid the Pakistani community," the letter added as per Van Hollen's site.

The move is supported by several humanitarian groups such as the National Immigration Forum, Asian American Federation, the Climate Justice Collaborative at the National Partnership for New Americans, Communities United for Status and Protection, and South Asian Americans Leading Together.

While lauding the US decision to help Pakistan by giving humanitarian assistance of USD 30 million, the letter added that further action is needed to mitigate the harmful effects of this crisis, according to Dawn.

The senators argued that forcing Pakistanis to return to a country experiencing what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called a relentless impact of 'epochal' levels of rain and flooding would be a grievous obstruction to relief efforts.

It would also risk fueling further displacement, destabilizing the region, and undermining key US national security interests, they added. 


US senators temporary protected status Pakistani immigrants TPS unprecedented floods US President Joe Biden National Immigration Forum Antonio Guterres
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